Mike at the start, we were both rather fresh faced to begin with

On Saturday 22nd September, a beautiful sunny day I went for a long and exhausting walk up and down some hills with Mike.  Mike has done this walk twice before with his friends, and I have seen him come home afterwards. Both times he has walked through the door looking completely shattered, blisters all over his feet and he is pretty much a write off until at least the following evening. I wanted to see for myself what this walk was like.

We did another walk a few months back, before I was trying to get more active. We went to Matlock for the day and decided to go up High Tor, which we had been up before. The rain was lashing down and we were not prepared at all. I was soaked before we even started climbing the hill. We got about half way up and had to turn back. I was too tired and too unfit to complete it, that was a pretty crap day. So when we decided to do Ladybower on Saturday I wanted to make sure we were as prepared as we possibly could be. We both had rucksacks full of waterproofs, spare socks, bananas, dextrose tablets and, bandages and blister plasters. We were ready.

Mike went and ruined my lovely picture!

We arrived at the car park across the road from The Ladybower Inn just after 10am. The route started right next to the pub and rather conveniently finished there too. In the car on the way there Mike told me that the first 20 to 30 minutes were really tough, and that it was mostly up hill for that whole time.  This was the beginning.

We started the steep incline, there were lots of loose rocks and it was quite difficult to get my footing right. I was pretty tired after about 15 minutes, but I remembered what Mike said about the first bit being tough so just carried on and tried not to complain too much. It was at this point that it dawned on me that the past 6 weeks of running 3 times a week had led me to this very moment. I had been in training and didn’t even know it. With the regular running sessions we have learnt better breathing techniques and pacing and it was showing in the way we walked; much more so than when compared with our High Tor attempt.

I was already tired by this point, and we’d only been going about half an hour

Throughout the walk, whenever I got puffed out or started to feel like giving up I would just look up and take in the beautiful landscape, or think about how this whole walk is helping me to achieve my goal.

By 12:30 we were at our highest point. We stopped at the top and had our lunch; bananas, cereal bar, orange juice and nuts. Mmm tasty.

At this point we had the option of continuing and doing probably another 5 or so miles, or we could go back on ourselves slightly and take a steep decline towards the River Derwent. It was a hot day, we were tired, and I was already proud of myself for getting that far, so we decided to head back down. The walk down still took an hour and a half so it wasn’t just like running down a hill.

This was the sign we walked back to, then headed towards the river.

The scenery was stunning, so much green and it was such a gorgeous sunny day too. We’ve decided to try and do as many of these walks as possible. We’d like to make it a monthly thing, so we will try our best to do so.  I’ll now spend the next 6 weeks running and training for another walk, and who knows maybe we will do the whole thing next time.


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